September 10, 2020 |
As a marketer, you’ve probably asked yourself the question, “What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?” DAM helps brands manage their complex media needs, driven in part by buyers’ preferences for rich digital content. In fact, infographics and videos rank among the top five types of media that B2B buyers like to consume.
Some platforms exist that have some similar content features—web content management systems, cross-channel campaign management software, and ecommerce platforms. But only a digital asset management (DAM) platform is optimized to manage the content lifecycle including omnichannel content creation, management, and sharing. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful article that covers:
Digital asset management helps teams organize, store, and retrieve rich media while managing digital rights and permissions. At its simplest, a DAM helps you with managing digital assets across your organization. DAM extends across the entire content lifecycle, from ideation to delivery. Enterprise organizations use DAM to manage assets, including videos, animations, infographics, and audio files, alongside complex editing tools, rights management, and advanced versioning controls.
A comprehensive digital asset management system definition must also acknowledge the importance of storing contextual elements, like text snippets and product data. Finally, DAM software helps users track digital files throughout the creative workflow. This ensures brand consistency and alignment across media assets, geographies, versions, and channels.
Not all DAM systems are created equal. Different types of digital asset management platforms may emphasize distinct components of the content lifecycle.
Many media asset management systems may differ based on:
Identifying the right DAM solution for your organization means undergoing a detailed analysis of business requirements, user needs, success metrics, and ROI calculation.
For those in the weeds of marketing, the question might be why wouldn’t an organization need digital asset management? However, the benefits of a DAM system extend far past marketing teams to include anyone using—or consuming—branded assets.
Some benefits of using a DAM:
In the end, a DAM gives you end-to-end control of content assets critical to every line of business and the customer experience.
Marketing, sales, product managers, line of business leaders—almost everyone in an organization benefits from having accessible, modifiable, and trackable content assets. In addition, here are some of the ways DAM benefits each business unit.
DAM helps communications teams improve collaboration. It enables centralized review and automated rights management, as well as supporting content across its lifecycle, from conception of the idea all the way to distribution and reuse.
DAM helps ensure creative teams—such as graphic designers and copywriters—have the right logo, boilerplate, or product image when creating content. With DAM, using unapproved content in a campaign is a thing of the past. DAM also enables them to search for and collaborate on content at a single source. This streamlines the creative workflow, as creatives no longer have to post files in different locations or manage different versions.
Ecommerce & Product Teams
DAM helps these groups by integrating with the larger MarTech ecosystem to support product content alongside other marketing content in a single solution, as well as various versions of such content for different regions and languages.
Lines of Business
DAM helps enterprise business teams better understand the ROI of the content their organization distributes through analysis and reporting capabilities.
DAM for marketing helps teams improve overall performance and productivity by enabling simple management, scaling, and reuse of content. This improves the team’s agility when responding to evolving customer needs.
The benefits of a DAM extend across the business. Yet there are other adjacent solutions—ones that focus on a single strategic element—in which your organization may have already invested or is considering.
For example, a content management system (CMS) helps with aspects of digital content publication. Understanding how a DAM is differentiated from these less robust solutions is key to realizing the benefits of end-to-end content lifecycle management.
A DAM gives you a comprehensive, end-to-end solution to manage the content lifecycle—managing content planning, creation, and distribution from a single place. Only 28% of organizations can or frequently repurpose content without a lot of manual labor. That’s according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 Content Management and Strategy Survey.
Yet repurposing content is a critical component of your marketing strategy, especially when working in a complex enterprise environment. Not only does a DAM help you do this efficiently, but a DAM also ensures the right content gets to the right customer at the right time.
1. Is your content siloed in multiple solutions?
Today, brand management and content strategy demand you to have different versions of content for your different channels: website, email, marketing, social media, product marketing, etc. At the same time, having different content versions and solutions for each channel can be difficult to manage.
Consolidating all of your content, versions, and content strategy into a DAM enables you to create a library of your content. This makes it easier to find, connect to other content, and better prepare it for distribution.
2. Do you want to do more than just store content?
Content needs nurturing in every stage of its lifecycle, from ideation and planning to analysis and archival. DAM solutions support work-in-progress assets so creative teams can continue to use their tools of choice to develop content. Top DAMs also offer analysis features that give you insight into high-performing content. Update and republish content that works and remove content when it stops performing.
A DAM gives you new capabilities for content development and analysis. It adds efficiency to creative workflows and improving ROI quantification of your overarching content strategy without adding any chaos to the mix.
3. Do you need to support multiple asset types?
Breaking down content—from any format—to segment it and reuse it for different purposes and customer experiences is an essential component of a digital marketing strategy. DAM not only supports multiple asset types, such as video, audio, and images. It also can understand which content is being used most often and by which groups of users. A DAM serves as a single source of truth for all of your brand content, breaking down silos between brand strategists, creatives, and marketers and giving them one place to diagnose opportunities to optimize content opportunities.
A marketing DAM supports extensive media assets, including emerging formats. It gives your creative and marketing teams new capabilities that help them deliver the ideal customer experience.
4. Do you have sophisticated content enrichment needs?
Content becomes even more complex when you have to manage it across various versions, regions, dates, rights, and resolutions. DAM offers robust content enrichment capabilities so you get the right content to the right customer at the right time. It also enables customized metadata and taxonomy capabilities to further enrich content. Use this to organize assets by business categories or their components, such as keywords, or other descriptive data.
Digital and data asset management is critical for enterprise-level organizations operating with a complex content marketing strategy—it helps the whole team deliver experiences more efficiently so they land with the most impact on customers.
5. Do many groups need your content?
Content is no longer just for marketing. Other teams including sales, legal, and customer experience all are staking a claim for enterprise content. DAM manages all assets by group or channel so you can allow groups access to only the content they need. Ensure easier findability and control for all of your rich digital assets.
A DAM provides you more control of your digital files while breaking down silos to help your teams collaborate more effectively.
Digital asset management is about helping your team deliver a complex content marketing strategy. The complexity can come in many different forms, from wide geographic spread to a diverse omnichannel strategy.
Whatever the reason, a DAM gives you increased capabilities around creation, storage, and management of rich media assets.
As you begin comparing potential digital asset management vendors and platforms, it’s important to identify and examine the DAM features most critical to your enterprise marketing strategy.
Discrete Features. Does the DAM provide:
User Needs. Does the DAM:
Technology Integrations. Does the DAM integrate easily with key components of your operations?
It’s critical you ask the right questions to find the right DAM solution for your business.
Selecting a DAM requires careful ROI calculation. Assessing digital asset management pricing means you need to examine a number of factors, including:
Ensure a DAM delivers the intended value by identifying the quantifiable DAM success metrics that matter most to your needs before calculating ROI.
Choosing a DAM solution for managing digital assets may seem complex, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by understanding:
Then, use a checklist to compare providers against your required capabilities. Enter the DAM selection process prepared to ask the right questions and eliminate wrong-fit solutions.
When optimized for your enterprise, DAM streamlines how you manage and deliver content for marketing, legal, customer service, ecommerce, product, and other business units. It makes you more agile in operations, so you respond comprehensively to evolving customer needs.
DAMs are also continuing to evolve. DAM vendors with a strong reputation are providing solutions with more robust functionality every year. Whatever DAM solution you choose, make sure it grows and scales with your needs. This way, you can continually improve your content management and the experience you deliver in your market.
Ready to explore DAM solutions? Use the DAM Buyer’s Guide to inform your search.
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